ESL's Los Angeles Tips - Don't miss out on what the city has to offer!
LA Weekly Magazine
The free LA Weekly magazine (www.laweekly.com/) can be found in any news stand, and gives weekly tips on events and happenings around the Los Angeles area.
Be in the audience when a TV show is filmed, or catch a movie premier
Do you want to be a star of the screen? Well, we can’t guarantee that, but you can certainly be in the audience when a television show is being filmed. For example, you can make a free account at 1iota.com and get free tickets to be in the studio audience for several different TV shows, including Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Voice. Alternatives include tvtickets.com and tvtix.com.
If you want to be close to the biggest stars, movie premieres are happening all the time at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. With a little patience and some skill in navigating a crowd, you will be sure to see movie stars and maybe even get an autograph. Some celebrities seen by ESL students at movie premieres recently in Hollywood include Katy Perry, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Robert Downey Jr.
Check out the murals
Los Angeles is famous for its street art, and is often known as the “mural capital of the world.” There are several places to see graffiti murals including Downtown, Fairfax and Melrose district, East LA. If you like art, and especially the big, free, and loud kind, then LA is the right place for you!
Catch a sporting event
Even though Los Angeles lost its professional football team (that’s American football of course) to Oakland, it is still the home of the Dodgers baseball team, the Clippers and Lakers basketball teams, the Galaxy soccer team and the 2012 Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings ice hockey team.
Practice your English and meet locals through volunteering
One of the best ways to meet native speakers is through volunteering, and Los Angeles offers many opportunities. Volunteer opportunities include helping for large events and festivals, working with the homeless, and cleaning up parks and trails. Volunteer opportunities can be found at several websites, including:
To watch, read, listen
Watch Chinatown (1974) Director: Roman Polanski Blade Runner (1982) Director: Ridley Scott The Big Lebowski (1998) Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen There will be Blood (2007) Director: Paul Thomas Anderson Pulp Fiction (1994) Director: Quentin Tarantino
Los Angeles cinemas
The Chinese Theater (6925 Hollywood Blvd, tclchinesetheatres.com) is the city’s most famous cinema and home to many premiers, but there are many, many options if you want to catch a movie in LA. The Grove (189 The Grove, thegrovela.com) is part of a popular shopping village, while Regal (1000 W Olympic Blvd, regmovies.com) and the Arclight (6360 Sunset Blvd, arclightcinemas.com)are also big destinations. For art-house movies, Cinefamily (611 North Fairfax Avenue, cinefamily.org), Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema (7165 West Beverly Blvd, newbevcinema.com) and the Nuart Theatre (11272 Santa Monica Boulevard, landmarktheatres.com) are hard to beat.
Read LA Confidential by James Ellroy Double Indemnity by James M. Cain The Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions, and General Tales of Ordinary Madness by Charles Bukowski
Listen Appetite for Destruction by Guns N’ Roses Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers Doggystyle by Snoop Doggy Dogg Roxy & Elsewhere by Frank Zappa & The Mothers The Trip by Art Pepper
For electronic music on top-quality sound systems, two LA venues stand out. Avalon (1735 Vine Street, avalonhollywood.com) and The Exchange (618 S. Spring Street, exchangela.com) are big, brash and very loud, attracting big name DJ’s from all over the world. This being LA, it’s all about the VIP rooms. At the other end of the intimacy scale, The Smell (247 S. Main Street, thesmell.org) is an alcohol-free, all ages arts venue that attracts up-and-coming local bands in skinny jeans. As the name suggests, it can get smelly… but in a good way. Some of the best parties can be found around Echo Park, which has a reputation for indie music. The Echo and Echoplex (1822 w. Sunset Blvd, theecho.com), is consistently popular. If you want to enjoy some classical or jazz music, the biggest events often take place at the Hollywood Bowl (hollywoodbowl.com). It’s tradition to bring a picnic and wine and enjoy the open air. Check out LA Weekly for what’s hot.